The economic results were in line with GDP growth of 6.8 per cent reported in the last quarter of 2017. The world’s second-largest economy beat expectations to grow by 6.9 per cent in 2017, helped by surging foreign trade and retail sales.
This year, the Chinese government has set an economic growth target of around 6.5 per cent as it aims to shake up state-controlled industries, expand the high tech sector and boost domestic consumption.
Tuesday’s results announcement was overshadowed by trade frictions with the US, which has threatened punitive tariffs on 150 billion dollars worth of Chinese imports.
Washington says China has forced foreign companies to transfer technology in return for being allowed to operate in the Chinese market.
With its tariffs, the US aims to target Beijing’s "Made in China 2025" strategy to upgrade its manufacturing industry.
Beijing earlier this month announced its own set of retaliatory tariffs on 50 billion dollars worth of US imports, including agricultural products, cars and aircraft.
China is mulling other ways to retaliate if the US tariffs end up being implemented in the next two months.